Olympians' attack on administrators

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The Independent Online
Olympic competitors have condemned the administration of British sport and called for immediate action to smooth the way to the Sydney Games of 2000.

They want less bureaucracy, more financial help for elite athletes, and a key role for the new United Kingdom Sports Council. The blueprint for success was drawn up by members of the Top 100 Club at a one-day seminar in London after Britain's poor performance in Atlanta.

It was chaired by the rower Jonny Searle, who won a bronze, and included three silver medallists - the athletes Iwan Thomas and Jamie Baulch as well as the yachtsman Ben Ainslie.

A statement said: "The club are appalled by the fragmented and confused state of the structure of sport in this country. We see the bureaucratic and unprofessional approach from administrators as being detrimental to success at international level.

"We call on sports bodies to consider streamlining the administration and on the Minister for Sport to give the UKSC immediately the resources and decision-making powers to carry out its appointed job of promoting elite sport."

The club also want the council, not the private sector, to run Britain's planned Academy of Sport. They believe more full-time coaches are essential and expertise should be recruited from abroad.